I’m rather becoming fond of working part time as a clerk in a hospital and seem to be finding out more about horse related careers than I do when on the stud! The latest is Hippotherapy which combines horse riding (generally with the help of the ingenious setup that is Riding for the Disabled) and the likes of a trained therapist (occupation, physical and speech).
The particular fact sheet provided to me was put together in conjunction with Pegasus, Riding for the Disabled of ACT. Hippotherapy works to improve the client’s balance, function, posture and mobility through the use of a horse’s movement. The movement of the horse is used to influence the client rather than the other way around.
“In the beginning we were woefully ignorant of the implications of the rider’s disabilities – we just had to ‘suck it and see’”.
However, on the first afternoon at Forrest Park, she recalls that a young girl who was usually wheelchair bound, rode under a tree and reached up to touch the leaves.
Suddenly the girl shouted “I can touch them! They are so soft!”
As joy and tears transformed the girl’s face, Bid was hooked forever and riding for the disabled was born in Canberra.
Want to know more? Take a look at Pegasus’ Hippotherapy Fact Sheet.
A high proportion of clients have Cerebral Palsy while others have Multiple Sclerosis, a traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular accident or functional spinal curvature such as scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis.
For those interested in pursuing this rewarding work, take a look at the American Hippotherapy Association’s education page and related curriculum.
Links of interest:
Hippotherapy at Wikipedia.
Hippotherapy in Western Australia.
http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org/ – the American Hippotherapy Association.
Volunteer at Pegasus ACT – minimum age 14 years.
Hippotherapy at YouTube.
“Riding Develops Abilities.”